My teaching focuses on connecting the life of the actor to the material. Through years of studying with the top acting teachers in the country, I have selectively emphasized a set of keys essential in helping actors create compelling performances in their own unique way.
First, we analyze the script. Based on the text, we discover the emotional realities that drive the character, then identify the emotional parallels to these realities that exist in the actor’s personal life. By drawing from a clear understanding of our emotional history we charge our characters with our own personal experiences. You must be prepared to honestly examine your own life and to reveal your own truth through the character. In the words of one of my mentors, “the better the actor is at accessing their life experiences as a way of creating urgency and passion for the goals in the script, the higher the art.”
Second, I teach actors to analyze and understand their character’s “needs”-- needs from both the overall story and from each individual scene. Once these needs are clearly understood, the actor must pursue them as if their life were at stake. They must try to “win” at every opportunity in order to obtain their needs.
Third, the character’s needs which I also refer to as objectives are pursued--as in life--in the beats and actions of every scene. I have become most insistent in this particular area as I have seen first-hand how this tool can transform a bland performance into riveting artwork-- separating a good performance from a great one--thus presenting such actors with life-changing opportunities.
Beyond acting technique, my class intensives aim to demystify Hollywood. By using the work as a jumping off point, invited professionals from all facets of our business observe, share, and inspire. Familiarizing ourselves with these guest artists in a safe environment raises our comfort-level and builds confidence for when that unique career moment presents itself.
Previous guest artists include writer Timothy J. Sexton, writer/director Jeffrey Fine, producer Sam Kitt, actor/director/executive producer Peter Horton, writer/director Jim Hershleder, writer/director/producer/actor Tony Spiridakis, artist agent Charles Silver and artist managers Mark Armstrong and Scott Howard.
Ivana Chubbuck's book "The Power of the Actor" is suggested reading material.
The class is located at:
Two Roads Theatre
4348 Tujunga Avenue
Studio City, CA. 91604